Getting Stuck in Barbed Wire by Guy Lister


Do you know what one of the most lethal weapons used in WW1 was? – Barbed wire.

A WW1 Historian said this about it – ‘Barbed wire does not immediately spring to mind when we think of weapons. However as a defensive tool it qualifies as a weapon. When combined with fixed position machine guns (as it normally was) it was a vital part of a ruthless killing machine as the British Army discovered on the Somme where barbed wire entanglements were used to slow the attack and to channel men into the killing zones well before they got anywhere near the enemy trenches.’

Sometimes we can feel that life is like continually running into barbed wire barriers – where we get stuck in our tracks and become more vulnerable to more attack.

Life is like a race – but we need to be free to run it. There is an enemy that seeks to trap, ensnare and hinder us, causing doubt, confusion and discouragement. What does the Apostle Paul say in Hebrews 12? ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles!’ We don’t need to be weighed-down, held-back, chained-up, and locked into things which prevent us from running our race freely.

Have you ever seen the London Marathon which people dressed up in all sorts of costumes and strange outfits? They look great but have you ever seen a fluffy elephant or Mr Blobby lookalike winning the marathon? No.

But if Paul uses the words ‘throw-off’, what does that mean? It’s something we have to do. It’s a verb, a doing word, an action, it requires movement on our part. It’s putting the past in the past and keeping it there. No fishing to try and bring it back! If we co-operate with the Holy Spirit at work in our lives then we can live in the good of the promise that Jesus made when he said, in John 8:36, ‘whom the Son has set free, he is free indeed’. We have to understand, believe and trust that through Christ, we can overcome.

The bible talks about the Kingdom of God and what it means for us. One of the verses that Paul uses is found in 1 Corinthians 4:20, ‘For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.’ There is power in the name of Jesus to set us free from the things that trap us. And through Christ, we can overcome!

You have to wear strong protective gloves and use powerful wire cutters to deal with barbed wire. The good news is that Jesus has made a way for us to be free from the snares that entangle us – to be free from the consequences of our sin and rebellion against God. He wears the gloves, he carries the wire cutters, he has made a way for us to be free – we just need to believe in Jesus and walk in our freedom!

Guy Lister is an Elder of Northgate Church, Chester

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  • mark buchanan
    Posted at 01:40h, 20 June

    Good stuff Guy and powerful imagery. I guess the more serious we are about winning the race, the more serious we will be about getting rid of the things that are entangling us.